Next stage of Sunderland Veterans' Walk to open as stones honour hundreds of heroes
The next stage of a walkway remembering hundreds of Sunderland's armed forces heroes will be unveiled at the weekend.
There are now 250 stones in Veterans' Walk in Mowbray Park, each honouring a member of the armed forces who has served or is still serving, and includes the Merchant Navy.
The project was founded by Tom and Carla Cuthbertson, whose son Nathan was killed in a suicide bomb attack while serving with the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan in June 2008.
Three sections of the walk have already been opened in the park, and the Tom said those behind the project were looking forward to seeing the fourth section unveiled on Saturday.
"This phase will take us up to the 250 stones mark that are now currently laid in Mowbray Park," he said.
"We will have many recipients attending on the day, along with their family and friends, and standard bearers, bagpipes and a bugler."
The first stage of the Veterans Walk was laid in Mowbray Park in November 2016, and, depending on demand, it will eventually stretch around the park's pathways.
The granite stones each bear the name, regimental badge and years of service of a member of the armed forces - living or dead, serving or formerly serving.
The stones can be bought by the service men and women themselves, or their loved ones.
The Veterans' Walk team say there are more than 26,000 ex-servicemen and women living in Sunderland today who haven't had the chance to see their efforts on behalf of their country properly honoured.
The project also supports a number of charities including Brothers in Arms, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and the Sunderland Armed Forces Network.
Brothers in Arms is a cause particularly close to Tom's heart. The group was founded by Tom and Carla and other families who had lost loved ones in the forces recent years, to create and maintain the memorial wall around which now stands around Sunderland's Cenotaph to remember those killed in conflicts or training since the end of the Second World War.
The unveiling ceremony for the fourth stage of the Veteran's Walk takes place at 10.30am on Saturday June 23. Tom said all are welcome, with refreshments to follow at the Gunners Club in Mary Street.